Bringing a New York Neighborhood to the Milligan Center

The Thacher Masquers presented the Lin-Manuel Miranda musical, In the Heights, to a full house of enthusiastic theater goers.
An all-school trip to the Lin-Manuel Miranda production Hamilton last year whetted the appetites of students and faculty for more of his work. So, when it came time to stage the annual winter musical, the Miranda’s first production, In the Heights, was a natural choice. The award-winning musical (best musical, best original score, and best choreography at the 2008 Tony Awards) is set in the Manhattan neighborhood of Washington Heights.

The Thacher production, led by performing arts teacher and theater director Tracey Williams Sutton, starred senior Alika ’19 in the lead role of Usnavi, the owner of a local bodega and the neighborhood hangout spot. This was Alika’s first principle role with the Masquers and he shared, “After being in the supporting cast for the past three years and looking up to the principals, it meant the world to me to have this opportunity for my final time on the Thacher stage. I got to know freshmen whom I had never spoken with. We became a family, and when the final chord played the last night, I realized, ‘This is it!’”

The cast spent lots of time together, rehearsing nightly after sports and on Saturdays for seven weeks. The play is essentially an opera, so Mr. Haggard (chair of the Arts Department and director of the Music Program) suggested they start early to get in an extra week-and-a-half of rehearsals before the winter break. They cast everyone who auditioned, so the cast included a large ensemble that needed to learn several songs and dances. “It was a wonderful growth experience for the young performers,” said Ms. Williams Sutton. “We asked a lot of the kids and they were completely dedicated and showed up ready to work. It’s amazing how they all stepped up considering their other commitments.”

Congratulations to everyone who made this successful run happen:

IN THE HEIGHTS CAST
USNAVI DE LA VEGA...................................................................................  Alika ’19
NINA ROSARIO........................................................................................... Alette ’19
BENNY................................................................................................... Alejandro ’19
VANESSA.................................................................................................. Maggie ’20
KEVIN ROSARIO......................................................................................... Trevor ’19
CAMILA ROSARIO........................................................................................ Celia ’20
ABUELA CLAUDIA..................................................................................... Andrea ’19
DANIELA.......................................................................................................... Joy ’20
SONNY............................................................................................................. Jae ’21
CARLA.......................................................................................................... Maya ’19
GRAFFITI PETE.......................................................................................... Steven ’19
PIRAGUA GUY........................................................................................... William ’20
 
THE COMMUNITY OF WASHINGTON HEIGHTS
Johnny ’22, Riley ’20, Ty ’22, Julia ’21, Hayden ’22, Vincent ’20, Joyce ’22,
Anna ’21, Chisom ’21, Natalia ’21, Selene ’22, Joi ’21, Malena ’20, Lizbeth ’21,
Justin ’20, Sandy ’21, Keira ’22
 
PRODUCTION TEAM
Director....................................................................................... Tracey Williams Sutton
Music Director..................................................................................... Gregory Haggard
Choreographer............................................................................ Julie Denney Hamann
Technical Director...................................................................... Cal Jensen CdeP 2006
Costumes....................................................................... Haley René and Tracey Sutton
Dance Captains...................................................................... Anna ’21 and Vincent ’20
Assistant Director.......................................................................................... Dechen ’21
 
TECHNICAL CREW
Stage Manager.................................................................................................. Abby ’19
Assistant Stage Manager................................................................................  Grace ’19
 
MUSICIANS
Dan Willard..........................................................  Piccolo, Flute, Clarinet, Soprano Sax
.....................................................................................  Alto Sax, Tenor Sax, Contractor
Bill Wagner.........................................................  Trumpet, Flugelhorn, Piccolo Trumpet
Thomas Fredrickson....................................................................................... Trombone
Andy Street................................................................................................... Keyboard 1
Greg Spaulding............................................................................................. Keyboard 2
Brad Rabuchin....................................................................................................... Guitar
Aaron Snyder.......................................................................................................... .Bass
John Lacques.........................................................................................................Drums
Mike Deutsch.................................................................................................. Percussion
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